How media giants are utilising artificial intelligence

Written by Phil Birss: Group CEO.
· 4 minute read

Businesses and marketers have been using personalisation techniques for years. Something as basic as including a user’s first name within an email subject line, or showing products ‘similar’ to ones they have already browsed can significantly improve engagement and conversion rates.

In recent years however, personalisation has gone way beyond this. By using real-time data and artificial intelligence (AI), companies are now able to deliver ‘hyper-personalised’, extremely relevant user experiences.

One industry that is being transformed by the use of AI is the world of media and entertainment. Huge media giants are using advanced AI technologies to stay ahead of the game, and we’ve taken a look at some of our favourite uses of ‘big data’.


Spotify: AI curated playlists

Spotify are a great example of a company utilising the power of artificial intelligence to dramatically enhance its interface for each individual user. It’s almost as if they know your music taste better than you do and the fact is, they probably do…

Spotify’s ‘Discover Weekly’, ‘Daily Mixes’ and ‘Release Radar’ are popular features whereby hyper-personalised playlists are curated for each individual based on their listening habits.

Using a complex algorithm that cross-analyses over 2 billion user playlists, it can get a scarily accurate picture of songs you might like by matching your preferences to others.

Off the back of the success of these playlists, Spotify earlier this year rolled out their algorithm on previously ‘human curated’ playlists. Playlists that were previously put together by the Spotify editorial team are now using AI and an abundance of data to tailor these for each user. So my ‘Chill Out Songs’ will be completely different to yours.


Netflix: Artwork personalisation

Netflix is another global company that are constantly adapting their algorithms to improve customer experiences.

One AI feature is staring us right in the face without us even realising… enter ‘Artwork Personalisation’.

The movie thumbnails I’m seeing could be completely different to yours, all thanks to an extremely clever use of data that aims to appeal to our individual tastes.

Each movie or show will have a selection of different thumbnail choices, and Netflix uses data from your past viewing history, as well as subscribers with similar viewing habits, to determine which one is more likely to result in your click. Perhaps you’re more likely to click on thumbnails with certain actors and actresses? Or images that suggest action over romance?

This feature has been trialed for more than 130 million subscribers, and has proved extremely effective for the discovery of lesser known shows and movies.


Sky: ‘Humanising experiences’

Sky serves customers across multiple digital channels, providing internet, TV and mobile services to millions throughout the UK. Then there’s Sky News and Sky Sports – some of the top visited websites in the country. That’s a lot of data for one company to manage and make us of. Enter AI…

Using Adobe’s AI and machine learning framework, Sky is able to “gain a deeper understanding of customers by monitoring and bringing together real-time customer data from across channels”.

Using sport as an example, they explain how very few people are into every sport and every sports team. It makes building out segments and rules for all the different combinations of preferences very difficult for marketers. That’s where ‘automated personalisation’ comes in, which allows it to organically discover customer preferences and subsequently deliver hyper-personalised product recommendations across channels.

Sky are also using data to provide a deeper, more personal level of customer service. When a customer calls to speak to a human, they have an abundance of data at their fingertips. Customer attributes such as where they live, their demographics, viewing habits, what products they currently etc. are used and as a result, customer service experiences are much improved.

AI is certainly prominent amongst huge media corporations, but it’s a growing trend that is becoming more and more accessible to B2C companies across the UK. Customers almost expect a personalised experience these days. In fact, only 22% of shoppers are satisfied with the level of personalisation they currently receive. Stats like this make it hard to ignore – AI is and hyper-personalisation is going to be an integral part of a business’ future marketing strategy